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"While there was imagination to Swiss Army Man, I am on the hate side of it." -Chris

 "I watched 10 Cloverfield Lane on a long flight Tuesday. It felt like a cross between Misery, Room and an end-of-the-world sci-fi horror B movie. I liked it." -Paul

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Entries in Best Actor (178)

Friday
Jul222016

Oscar Chart Updates: The Acting Races !

The July Oscar prediction chart updates are complete! You're welcome. Each chart has been updated (but for foreign film but we start building the submission tables now). With the acting charts newly updated you'll see new predictions we're trying on for size (Jessica Sloane for Miss Sloane and Naomie Harris for Moonlight) and significant chart gains for the casts of three pictures (which affects the supporting actor chart most) Love and Friendship, Loving and Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk.

Will they be contenders? Who knows.

Here are some questions TFE is asking its Oscar Crystal Ball. Care to answer them in the comments? 

• Which sci-fi picture is more likely to be garner acting praise: Passengers with Jennifer Lawrence or Arrival with Amy Adams? Or neither since sci-fi pictures are rarely regarded, right or wrong, as "actor's pictures"?

• Do you think Love & Friendship can muster up an acting campaign to capitalize on its sleeper arthouse hit status?

• Why is buzz around Martin Scorsese's Silence so quiet and does this mean anything for its formidable male actors?

• Will Fences be seen as just the Viola & Denzel show or will it be a force in Supporting Actor? And can Denzel win a third Oscar, tying Daniel Day Lewis, Walter Brennan, and Jack Nicholson?

• Can Sony Pictures Classics make a critical cause of or controversy 'must-see' event out of Paul Verhoeven & Isabelle Huppert's pairing in Elle?

• When will filmmakers quit wasting Oscar caliber actresses as "concerned wife on phone" and "inquisitive wife at kitchen table"? (Actually this last one is rhetorical. No need to answer lest we all weep.)

NEW CHARTS
INDEX |  PIC | DIRECTOR | ACTOR | ACTRESS
SUPPORTING ACTOR | SUPPORTING ACTRESS 
SCREENPLAYSVISUALS | AURALS | ANIMATION & DOCS

Saturday
Jul092016

Happy 60th Birthday Tom Hanks!

Is there such thing as the male America's sweetheart? If there is then Tom Hanks would surely have to be him. The general public love him, your mum loves him, cinephiles love him, his co-stars love him, and cinematic history definitely loves him. To say Happy Birthday let's say T-Hanks for 5 of the best characters he's gifted us after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jun272016

Halfway Mark: Best Actors of 2016 (Thus Far)

Halfway Mark Festivities begin now! It's never too early to start thinking about year-end lists. If you keep a list all year long, you make better choices at year's end. Unlike The Academy we don't believe that the film year begins in October. So let's name the best male performances and achievements from the first half of the year.

Disclaimer: Notable films I missed that might have factored in to these categories but that I'll have to catch up with on DVD include 10 Cloverfield Lane and The Nice Guys.

NOTABLE MALE PERFORMANCES 
(January through June, 2016 - U.S. Theatrical Releases)

Best Leading Actor


  • Alfredo Castro as "Armando" in From Afar
    One of world cinema's most dependably unnerving actors but his performances are never copies. (He's also great in the predatory priests drama The Club also released this year)
  • Colin Farrell as "David" in The Lobster
    This underpraised actor continues to push himself when similarly famous stars would have long ago started coasting. Just wonderful as this lovelorn but surprisingly amoral sadsack
  • Jake Gyllenhaal as "Davis" in Demolition
    Can someone please start giving him films that can keep up with him? He's been on such a tear. Get him while he's at his peak!
  • Daniel Radcliffe as "Manny" in Swiss Army Man
    Though it's not much of a high-bar to proclaim this Harry Potter's best performance, that doesn't negate the compliment. Radcliffe does wonders with the weird constrictions of the role, never over or underplaying this corpse that talks, marvels, and learns and yearns for love
  • Ferdia Walsh-Peelo as "Cosmo" in Sing Street
    He's a major find, superbly charting Cosmo's growing confidence and musical passion.

Four more categories after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
May192016

Who or what is the MVP of "Sing Street"?

Sing Street, the latest film from our most musician obsessed auteur John Carney, has been expanding with more theaters each week at a fairly strong clip. Six weeks in, there's no expansion (a very crowded weekend) but its fanbase keeps growing exponentially as more people "discover" it. Like Carney's previous music-based indies, the Oscar winning, transcendently low-fi Once and the more mainstream but surprisingly rewatchable Begin Again, whatever you might want to say about Sing Street an adjective that could safely and accurately describe all three films is "endearing"...

Click to read more ...

Monday
May092016

Two Must Reads: Asian Actors Speak Out, and Method Acting's History

After two hit TV shows Daniel Dae Kim is Broadway's new King of SiamTwo Must Reads today that are a pleasure to highlight

The Hollywood Reporter published a piece called "Where are the Asian-American Movie Stars?" that's definitely worth a look. Kudos to fine actors like Maggie Q, Daniel Wu, Daniel Dae Kim, Ming-Na Wen and others for forging and holding down careers (it can't have been easy) and speaking out about the white-washing. The problem is not just that Hollywood doesn't get it but that they also don't make use of what they already have. There is plentiful camera-ready talent out there, but Hollywood mostly ignores Asian Actors.

The white washing is so egregious lately that even an upcoming animated film from China called The Guardian Brothers has an all non-Asian voice cast for its US release! What the holy f***? That cast includes Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman, and quite frankly that pisses me off. They should know better. Neither of those perpetually working  Oscar winning goddesses need the exposure, the work, or the money that that job will offer.  

[More after the jump on this topic and Method Acting, too...]

Click to read more ...

Monday
May022016

Which actors will Oscar celebrate this year?

We've discussed Best Actress and the overall April Foolish Predictions so let's talk Best Actor & Supporting Actor

First, we have to wonder what it will take to get Tom Hanks back in Oscar's shortlist. His last two acclaimed hits have wound up with Best Supporting Actor & Best Picture nominations but Hanks was passed over in both cases. If the same thing happens with Aaron Eckhart in the co-pilot seat of Sully, the famous story of the pilot who successfully crash landed a plane on the Hudson, we'll have a bonafide trend and not just a coincidence. That's what I'm currently predicting though of course it's all fun and games now before we see the films. And before we even know about several competitors as the year doesn't really get going until the fall according to Oscar voters.

The pressure is off Birth of a Nation... at least a little bit. Several films with actors of color look promising this year, so it needn't be the sole standard bearerIn other acting category predictions, I feel confident in saying that we'll see the end of the dread #OscarsSoWhite controversy. Or, rather, the issue will persist (Hollywood having white male imbalance problems) but it will take a different shape, less focused on the Oscar's acting branch which was an easy but unfortunate scapegoat of a much larger Hollywood problem. The Acting branch has always been the most inclusive and diverse of any Oscar branch but the uproar and embarrassing photo ops of the past two years -- as well as, yes, too-defensive quotes from some famous actors themselves -- have convinced the public otherwise. With more racially diverse dramas being released this year (Fences, Birth of a Nation, A United Kingdom, Loving, Lion and possibly more)  it should be an easy fix; AMPAS members can only vote for films and performances that are eligible. My sincere hope is that we see a few Latino or Asian nominees in the mix soon so we can move past this idea that racial identity and diversity are binaries. But first people will have to start actually casting Latin and Asian actors in movies. Wouldn't that be nice. It's especially rough for Asian actors since they nearly always change their characters to white characters between source material and production.

[Tangent for Hard Core Fans: Despite the difficulty of predicting a full slate of nominees this far in advance I don't actually do a poor job of it. Even in the below the line craft lineups I tend to score two of five before we've seen any films. This sounds easy but I assure you it's not. Try it one year in April and save your list with no changes ever each time you hear news or release date shifts thereafter and see how many remain at the end of the year. Best Actor remains my best category in terms of flying that blind. In 2013 and 2015 I correctly guessed 4 of the 5 nominees this early which is really something. And in 2001 and 2008 the scores would have also been that incredible but for the business of men being nominated the next year instead. - Nathaniel]

Saturday
Apr302016

April Foolish Predictions!

It's finally complete - the first predictions of the new film year, affectionally dubbed "April Foolish Predictions" by yours truly, just under the wire before May begins. I've opted to go for a year with a lot of new blood in various categories but the supporting categories have no sure things so it's like throwing darts blindly... possibly not even towards a wall... in those categories.

Enjoy fresh charts on ACTRESS, ACTOR, SUPPORTING ACTRESS, and SUPPORTING ACTOR as well as the General Prediction Chart for a summary.

Report back!